I recently read an article on a training technique called the contrast method. It is a great way to mix up your exercises and training methods to prevent plateaus in weight loss, strength training and endurance.
I incorporated all these moves into my weight training, and it definitely upped the degree of intensity… it kicked my butt! Training with the contrast method means alternating between heavy strength exercises and energetic power exercises that work the same muscle group..
A study by the University of Santa Cruz states that this method showed an increased result in muscle strength, flexibility and weight loss. By starting with heavy weights the muscles are immediately engaged. Then when you switch to a high power exercise, it uses more muscles since they are already active – ultimately resulting in a better training program. Makes sense to me, and I am always looking for cool new stuff to do.
Try the following groups of exercises doing 10 reps of the strength exercise (listed first) followed by 30 seconds of the power aerobic exercise (second).
1. Squats – you can do any type of squat you like. I did hack squats because I think they are the safest for heavier weight. You can even just squat your own body weight if you are not at a gym
2. Jump Squats – jump up quickly and land in squat position
1. Bench press – use a bench press with barbell or modified version with dumbbells
2. Push-ups – do standard or clap push ups quickly (yea, the whole clap push up idea is a bit too scary. I will stick with the standard push up)
1. Lat Pull downs – use a lat machine and pull down to upper chest
2. Exercise Ball Toss – using a light exercise ball, repeat the motion of a two-hand throw overhead (sounded easy enough, but the last few throws were really tough)
1. Lunges – hold dumbbells in hands and do alternate leg lunges
2. Step Jumps – without dumbbells, step up and down on a low platform